Monday, Jun 07, 2021, 11:01 Hardware

AirPower: Apple Still Working On A Multi-Device Charging Mat

Apple's first attempt to develop a mat for charging multiple devices at the same time went thoroughly wrong. AirPower was announced in the fall of 2017, but was discontinued a year and a half later - without any customers ever being able to order the product. At that time, Apple said that quality problems were the reason why the charging mat was not brought to market. According to various sources, Apple could not get a grip on the strong heat development, among other things. The basic concept was to place devices in any position, but this required a large number of coils inside. However, this is exactly what the engineering departments had a hard time with.


AirPower – marketing images from 2017


Bloomberg: The project is not dead
It has been said several times since then that Apple has not given up interest in this product category and is still intensively researching charging mats. Just like AirPower, these are supposed to be able to supply multiple devices with power at the same time. After several reports in the past few months that Apple had continued the project despite its public cancellation, Bloomberg is now blowing the same horn. However, it is unknown whether Cupertino expects to ever bring AirPower or a successor product to market. Bloomberg also only talks about research, not active product development with an imminent sales launch.

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Apple doesn't want to leave the market to others
Among market observers, it is considered very likely to see at least some kind of charging mat with Apple logo - even if it is only for a single device. They say Apple doesn't want to leave the market completely to third-party vendors, and that there are also considerations of designing future iPhones without any ports at all. Similar information was provided by the leaker Jon Prosser and Ming-Chi Kuo. As already pointed out in the article regarding the 2022 generation of the iPad Pro, Apple is also working on wireless charging over distance. However, just like in the case of the charging mat, a release in the near future is probably not realistic - especially since the "power WiFi" brings along completely different challenges.

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